In its opening days, the wait time for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studio's Florida Diagon Alley has been hovering between three and five hours, ocassionally ballooning to six or seven hours.
That is an incredibly long time to wait, and to be honest, while the Escape from Gringotts is an amazing ride, spending almost an entire day inside a queue might not appeal to everyone. Fortunately, there is more to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley than just this attraction. Here are five things you can do at Diagon Alley that don't involve a line or a waiting time!
5. Grab a Wizarding World-inspired drink at the The Hopping Pot
Though there are plenty of places around Diagon Alley where you can grab a Butterbeer (regular, frozen or ice-cream), The Hopping Pot is a tavern where you can grab plenty of other drinks, including a refreshing Tongue-Tying Lemon Squash, a flavorful Fishy Green Ale, or a sweet Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice. If your tastes are a little more adult, both the Dragon’s Scale and Wizard’s Brew beers are also sold at the Hopping Pot. Though this tavern is outdoors, there are plenty of seats in front of the ordering area where you can chill out, relax and enjoy your beverage.
4. Catch a show at Carkitt Market
Right now there are two shows playing at the Carkitt Market Stage: The Tales of Beedle the Bard: The Tale of the Three Brothers as well as Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Both of these shows are highly entertaining, and play frequently throughout the day. Though there aren’t any specific times for these shows (times guides simply say that the shows are playing throughout the day), if you hang out around the stage area for an hour, you’ll definitely see one, and could possibly see both.
Both shows are relatively short, lasting about 15 minutes each, but they are definitely among the most entertaining at Universal Studios, and Harry Potter fans will appreciate the pains taken (especially with The Tale of the Three Brothers) to create an authentic experience that is true to the film and book series.
3. Explore Knockturn Alley
One of the most impressive areas in Diagon Alley is the dark arts–themed Knockturn Alley. This alleyway is completely covered in darkness (there's even a cloudy sky hanging above you as you enter), and features the Borgin and Burke store (for all your evil-doing needs). In addition to the store, there are several interactive wand locations, where guests can practice some dark magic.
And if that isn’t enough to hold your interest, try talking to some of the team members in the area. These witches and wizards are definitely dark, and can be a little bit scary at times. On several visits I’ve had team members stare at me, follow me down the alleyway, and even whisper in one of my travel party’s ears that I was going “to meet a very powerful wizard” (even though I had just stopped around the corner to admire a fantastically complete mermaid skeleton)! This area is definitely not for the faint of heart, but is definitely worth exploring, especially if you are a fan of Slytherin house.